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Studio Update

Studio Update

It’s been over a week since the last update and writing a blog post is as close to painting as I’m likely to get for the next week or two, so please allow me to indulge a bit. This isn’t the usual studio / painting update.

Why the Lull?

Internets, meet Libby. Libby, this is the internets.

We adopted a dog (meet Libby, everyone!) and moved to a new house, about 6 or 7 blocks away. At the same time. The dog’s fantastic; she gets me up early and I get more exercise in the morning and after work than I have in ages (OK, ever), going on walks. The move, however, has been a pain; consuming any and all free time due to packing, moving carloads of stuff, etc. Since we’re only moving a few blocks we didn’t have to do it in one fell swoop and so it’s been death by a thousand tiny trips. Ugh.  It’s exhausting.

Anyway, the point if this post is not to complain about the lack of progress these past few weeks, but to look forward at what’s coming up.

The Road Ahead

The NOVA Open

In just two months, it’ll be the NOVA Open, and I do not have much done towards my goals (enter the painting competiton, try to get Master Craftsman in Hardcore). I’m looking to get some competition pieces done, and I have finally admitted to myself that I will not have the Aquablight finished in time for Hardcore. Instead, the suggestion of polishing my Khador was put forth, and it is a good one (Thanks, Hawk).

The army looks good, but I really need to get something onto the Winterguard’s Banner. Especially since I plan to integrate Katya into the army (as a Mechanic Officer). I may even need to amp up the Standard with, say, Irusk2’s flag or maybe go back to the original one? I’m not sure yet, but I am fairly convinced it needs to be bigger.  Additionally, the blending on the Spriggan’s shield could be smoother, and that flat area is just screaming for a Khador symbol or something, as is the Juggernaut’s top plate and shoulders.  Any ideas, lads?

Beyond the freehand needs, I really should kick the highlights up more. This is easily done by using Khador Red Highlight and a Red Ink wash, but that’s something I’m a little scared to do, honestly. What if I royally screw up what I already have? What if I only get halfway through this upgrade to the army and don’t get the rest finished on time?

I worry about those things because the Khador isn’t the only thing I’ll be working on. The Capital Palette competition has several Categories across each of their Sci-Fi, Fantasy/Alternate Reality and Historical “Divisions”. They are: Small Single (anything on a 50mm base or smaller), Large Single (> 50mm base up to 6″ x 6″ x 6″) and Collection (multiple models, no larger than 12″ x 12″ x 12″).  So, there’s nine combinations, along with Fan Favorite and Best in Show.  That’s 29 awards for the entire competition, because it’s podium style: there’s one Gold, one Silver andone Bronze in each.

Now, I’m not into the Historical stuff (yet…), but the other two categories are up my alley (especially since Warmachine falls into the Fantasy / Alternate Reality category). Since the cost to submit to the competition is really cheap ($5 for singles, $10 for a collection or $25 for unlimited anything), I want to try and hit as many categories as possible, and take advantage of the $25 deal.

Irbe, by David Powell

The Overall Winner from last year, “Irbe”, is a gorgeous model, and is a fan favorite on Putty and Paint, so the competition is considerably stiff. If I were to be totally honest, I’m not expecting to win anything.  I know I’m not that talented, and when you consider the podium style of the competition, there’s not not much room at the top. Winning isn’t exactly my goal anyway, at least not this year. I see this as a chance for me to stretch outside of the Warmachine and tabletop painting world I’ve been in for too long, and see what else I can do, what else I can learn, and get feedback from the judges on what I can improve on and work towards mastering.

With that in mind, I’ve been taking advantage of eBay deals, and I’ve got some fun ideas in mind for the competition. I’m not sure yet how close to the vest I’ll be keeping these models, but you can bet on seeing WIPs and sneak peeks along the way with a full set of pictures and whatnot afterwards.  The Open always takes great professional pictures, so there’ll be those too.

After Nova Open, there’s Templecon to look forward to (fingers crossed for finishing Aquablight!), along with some models for Clash for a Cure (yay, Charity work) and maybe some spaceships and 40k or something?  I have a ton of stuff sitting on the shelf, waiting for a turn under the brush. Who knows!

New Painting Studio!

One of the great things that’s coming out of the move is that I get a dedicated hobby room man cave studio!

I’m as happy about the new Studio as Libby is about going on walks!

It’ll be nice to have more space for working, rather than just the 2′ x 3′ little desk I’ve been using, and it certainly beats the snot out of the closet I was working in a few years ago.  The studio is getting painted this upcoming holiday weekend, and I’ll be moving all my crud in shortly afterwards.

The extra space is going to be a huge boon. I’m hoping to have a semi-permanent photo set-up which means better quality photos for tutorials and showcasing models. An airbrushing station will be a must, the airbrush is just too useful and I want to practice and get better at using it to do shading and highlighting. Lastly, the additional space means I should be able to set up a decent filming station for doing video tutorials, product reviews and hangouts, for which the Plarzoid YouTube Channel has been eagerly awaiting.

All of this means I can finally do a video tutorial about 2-brush blending and other painting techniques.   I’ve also been really interested in seeing how fast I can brass rod a full unit of IFP + UA (I think I can do it in under an hour, but I’m not sure).  Beyond those ideas, I’m sort of tapped, though.

Audience Participation = Goodies!

So, question time:

  • What do you enjoy seeing on hobby blogs?
  • Is there a specific topic you want to read about?
  • What do you hate seeing on hobby blogs?

Also, everyone who responds to (any of) these questions will be entered in a drawing for goodies in a few days.  Comment early, comment often!

Be sure to post below (and include your e-mail in the form), or on Facebook.

View Comments (21)
  • Libby is super cute, I feel your pain with the moving. Save up for movers next time, it is so worth it.

    I don’t know that I have a hate when it comes to hobby blogs. I really enjoy seeing peoples progress, its nice to see where people started and where they ended up and how they got there. I guess anytime you find a new technique or trick that’s working for you, I like hearing about that.

    I am not sure what to tell you about your Khador, except they already look pretty damn good to me. If you want to try some stuff I say go for it, but I don’t think they need anything. Being an artsy fartsy type I understand completely what your going through and can only add this: we are always are own worst critics (cliche but true) and how does an artist know when a piece of art is finished? When he stops working on it. Sometimes you just have to put your brushes down and walk way. So I guess my point is don’t stress it to much either way.

    • Knowing when to quit is a valid point. I think the freehand needs to happen no matter what, but you may be right – maybe it’s not worth trying to go any further. Solid thought there, thanks, Carl!

  • ■What do you enjoy seeing on hobby blogs?

    -Lots of pictures, especially in step-by-step projects

    -Commonly needed projects- for Warmachine this means things like brass rodding, the underspray rust method, etc.

    -Product endorsements/reviews but only for products that the blogger actually uses

    ■Is there a specific topic you want to read about?

    -How to strip minis. Let’s do this article some weekend, we can make an absolute mess in my basement.

    ■What do you hate seeing on hobby blogs?

    -The same thing over and over again. I don’t subscribe to watch you execute the same projects on a regular basis, I subscribe because you do interesting and challenging things. (Certainly not aimed at this blog, just blogs in general!)

    • Repetitiveness is a huge pet peeve of mine, so you definitely won’t see that here.

      Weathering is a whole realm I have yet to gather the gusto to go into, but I have the powders and materials handy, so I’m looking to cross that line soon and see what happens.

  • What I like to see on hobby blogs is a combination of the hobby and some real life moments every so often. I prefer videos about painting, converting, and instructional articles or videos. For me playing the game is less important, as I enjoy the hobby aspect more than the game itself. Also having articles on what is going on in your life that are related to the hobby are always fun once in a while, as it makes you seem more human and easier to relate to. I enjoy watching videos with hobby tips or tricks. Even if I know how to do what is in the movie, I will still watch it hoping to learn something new.

    As far as the Khador go, I am not sure what to tell you about it. You could work on the blending on the Spriggan’s shield. The Winter Guard banner could use something added to it, whether that be a Khadoran national symbol or perhaps the symbol for the army which that unit is in. I know there are three Khadoran armies, (unless they have updated the fluff in the new book) so you could always choose one of those and place their symbol on the banner. You could also do the armor chipping look. Although you would need to do the harder and more intensive version, of painting on the chipped area and highlighting the edges to look like chipped paint. I myself play Khador and am going for a well used look. I am only in the test phases of the paint scheme, but those painted on chips take quite some time.

    With what I don’t want to see on hobby blogs is people ripping into other people, or other games. I know there are plenty of people with hatred towards certain companies or types of gamers, I am against a few too, but putting it on a blog that is to promote the wargaming hobby in general is in bad taste. I am all fine with someone saying they don’t like a certain thing, but as long as it doesn’t become a bashing thing. I have seen that happen on other blogs, and thankfully you have not done any of that, if which I appreciate.

    All in all you run a very nice blog, and I am happy to keep up with it. I am sure you will figure out what you want to do on the blog and people will like it. If you keep up with the kind of content and mindset towards the hobby that you already have you will do fine.

    Also, more puppy pictures would be good!

    • Thanks for the kind words!

      I’ve adopted Lost Hemisphere’s Positivity stance, in that I don’t ever want to have negative things on the blog. I think that if there’s something that you don’t like, it’s probably because there’s something better, so why not talk about that instead? IMO, there’s already too much negativity in the media and society today, I don’t need any more in my hobby and fun time stuff.

      Be sure to post pics of your Khador once you get the scheme worked out! Do you have a hobby blog at all?

      • I have been wanting to get my own hobby blog, but between just moving, and painting 50-60 hours a week for work and my own private commissions, I have not had time to make one. My Khador get painted every so often, usually when I am tired of painting historicals, so the scheme might not be finished very quickly. I am doing more of a dark muted green, with dark red accents for the warjacks. I am a fan of darker, muted colors, so am taking that route with my Khador. Also I am working on the paint chips and different weathering powders, trying to go with the battle worn look. I am toying with the idea of smoke belching out of the smoke stacks, and doing some OSL on the clouds around it with my airbrush. So I am working on many different tricks right now, and trying to figure out which ones I like and what I don’t. Lots of soaking in Simple Green!

        Glad your going the higher route and not trash talking, very happy about that.

  • a) I most enjoy high quality pictures. It inspires my painting and even more directly, my modding.

    b) I want to read about color schemes, color theory, making test swatches… I learn physical techniques well enough on my own but I could read theory all day.

    c) Honestly, i don’t much care for step-by-steps. I may be in the tiny minority here but I only achieve good results with my methods I have developed. the minute I try to copy someone else my quality drops significantly.

    Oh, and one more thing…More Libby. My dogs start doing laps as soon as the “W” word is uttered. She is super cute.

  • Libby is great~! Moving is a pain, no two ways about it. If you want to save on the cost of a moving company, you could always ask some friends. If nothing else, its great to have extra bodies to help move the heavier or more awkward things, not to mention many hands make quick work. I know I’ve helped more than one person move and its always gone better with more bodies, even when there are folks who can’t stay all day.

    But onto the mighty questions~!

    What do you enjoy seeing on hobby blogs?

    Tutorials are my favorite, even step by step picture ones. For folks like me, they’re a wonderful resource. I also like to see what other people like or what inspires or motivates them, whether its painting, music, photography, or whathaveyou. I also like seeing paint recipes. Yeah, I might not use brand X paint, but its easy enough to cross over into a brand I do use. I also like seeing reviews of different hobby tools, paints, miniatures, DVD’s, and books.

    Is there a specific topic you want to read about?

    Painting & modeling. 🙂 Two brush blending would be great. Yes, you’d think that after attending Meg’s class I’d have it down by now, but no such luck…..

    What do you hate seeing on hobby blogs?

    Overwhelming negativity. Yeah, we all hate price hikes, but to have a whole blog rant about it gets old real quick. Not that I’ve ever seen that on here, but you get the idea.

  • I’ve been thinking about getting an airbrush. Especially as I get working on Colossals. So any tips or tutorials on that would be appreciated. Specifically, how to use an airbrush, how to choose an airbrush (or at least how you chose yours) and how to use it on Warmachine Miniatures would be awesome!

  • I love seeing your dog. Please more Libby.

    But seriously I really like your reviews/how tos, and seeing your process. Those are probably what I want to read most. I generally feel pretty meh about posts that talk about list building and play.

    • So, more dog is unanimous, got it! 🙂

      More Product Reviews to come! I’m hoping to do more of them as I get time to try more stuff out. I really want to do one with LEDs (I am a Computer Engineer, afterall!) but I will probably need a 40k vehicle. Soon!

      • Oh! also you should really do that 2BB tutorial that you mentioned sometime. I still haven’t found a decent one online.

  • I like reading:
    – how conversions are carried out.
    – painting articles.
    – a little bit of insight into list building, or why your are painting a particular set of models.
    – thoughts on why you are doing what your doing (whether that’s a conversion, painting technique, paint scheme, army list)
    – reviews of stuff, but not just for reviewing sake, just if you actually use it.
    – a bit of real life too

    Hope you don’t mind Plarzoid but i’ll be stealing some of the answers from your survey myself, i have just started my own blog, and hope to keep it going with interesting articles.

    • Steal all you can. The more the painting community shares, the more we grow and the more fun we have.

      Also, subscribed! 🙂

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